Meet the dog who has been flying through the sky with his owner since he was six months old.
Capper, a dalmatian/doberman mix, first went paragliding with his owner two and a half years ago and she said he gets super excited when he realises it’s his turn to do it again.
Eli Egger, 25, a passionate paragliding instructor from Grobming, Austria, has done over 50 jumps with her pup so far and said it was always the case that she would take her dog with her when doing it.
She told Jam Press: “I did my first flight when I was 14, as a taster course in Ramsau am Dachstein.
“When my feet first left the ground I got addicted to that feeling.
“In 2011 I finished and got my licence and since 2016 I am a paragliding instructor.
“Furthermore, I am competing in paragliding competitions (National, International, WorldCup, European and World Championships) and I am part of the Austrian national team.”
Eli explained her reasons for introducing her dog to the world of Paragliding.
“I didn’t want to leave him at home because he loves being in the mountains as much as I do but I also like paragliding so it was just the next step to train him to come with me.
“The first time I did it with Capper he was still quite young, so at first he was a bit insecure and curious what was going on, but after a few minutes in the air he relaxed and seemed to feel fine.”
“At that time he was still little enough so he could sit on my legs while flying and I also could carry him while taking off and landing but now he weighs 33kg so I needed to go back to the beginners slope with him to train him to run beside me during takeoff.”
“As soon as I start preparing our glider I tell him to wait, so he sits in front waiting for me to attach him to my harness.”
Speaking about when they are actually in the air, Eli said: “He’s just looking around and following other gliders with his eyes. No barking at all. Only when we are close to landing does he start running in the air.”
“Takeoff and landing, he is completely calm.”
“Capper really loves to be around paragliders.”
Eli’s family and friends were not surprised at all that she had chosen to take her beloved pup with her on her descents through the sky and are supportive but she has received some negative responses on her Instagram page.
“As he is with me 24/7 they kind of expected me to take him for paragliding as well.”
“Most of the people are super impressed when they see us flying together and want to take pictures because it’s not an everyday experience.”
“Though some people blamed me for animal abuse.”
“To be honest I don’t really understand their point, because if he would really be afraid or hate it, he wouldn’t run willingly during takeoff.”
Like all extreme sports, measurements are taken to protect the safety of those involved and Eli is always precautious with Capper.
“He has a special dog harness, similar to the one used for rescue dogs. So it’s no problem to hang in it for several minutes or up to an hour but usually, we only fly for a short time.
“With that harness, he is attached to the carabiners as well as I am.”
“The most difficult part is takeoff because Capper has to run as well, and he needs to run in the right direction.”
“That’s the reason why I still spend a lot of hours on the training slope or with ground handling with him, especially when I haven’t been flying with him for some weeks.”
“ The most important thing is, only to take off when the conditions are good.”
“I have also learned that it’s a lot more difficult to take off with him, when there are a lot of people around, whistling and trying to get his attention for a nice picture.”
“Once I wanted to take off and he was confused by all the people around so he ran in the wrong direction, so I had to cancel the takeoff.”
“In the end, I decided not to take off with him that day, because when he is not focused on what he has to do it gets more dangerous.”
The daredevil duo have travelled all over Europe together and are always keen to jump in new spots. On this subject, Eli said: “We have been Paragliding in Slovenia, France, Italy, and Germany.
“So basically wherever I am he is with me and if the takeoff is nice, the weather good and the perfect daily conditions are right we can go for a flight.”
have you seen these incredible shots taken by an engineer in Iceland